The Inside the Hall Mailbag: June 20

  • 06/20/2012 8:05 am in

The Inside the Hall Mailbag is a collection of questions tweeted to us via Twitter (@insidethehall ) and sent to us via our Facebook page. Submit your questions and we’ll answer as many as we can. Now, onward … 

@scottbush8 writes: Of all the returning players who do you think will benefit the most with the new class coming in?

Alex Bozich: It may be hard to believe because of how effective he was as a freshman, but I think Cody Zeller will benefit the most as a result of the new class. And that’s because the new class includes Yogi Ferrell, who has an excellent chance to be one of the top point guards in the Big Ten and the country next season.

The reason Zeller stands to benefit the most is that Ferrell will create easier scoring opportunities in both half court and transition situations. Ferrell’s ability to get into the lane will result in lobs and dump offs for Zeller. And Yogi’s speed and ability to pass in the open court will mesh well with Zeller, who runs the floor as well as any big man.

@FWTykees writes: With #iubb playing so many in-state schools lately how soon or if ever do you see them coming to ft. wayne to play at ipfw?

Alex Bozich: At IPFW? No. It’s rare for a major conference school to go on the road to play a mid or low major opponent and that’s exactly what Indiana going to IPFW would be. The Hoosiers did go to Evansville last year, but that trip was mainly due to the opening of The Ford Center, which has 10,000 seats. And IU got two home games with Evansville in exchange for last November’s game. A trip to any non-conference opponent that TV isn’t behind is extremely unlikely to happen.

@LTTelamon writes: What do you think Peter Jurkin’s ceiling is this year? If he were to make a significant leap, could he be a rotation factor?

Alex Bozich: I haven’t seen Jurkin play in person since the summer of 2010 before he committed to Indiana, but the video that has surfaced of his final high school season shows he’s made strength gains in his upper body. His primarily role, at least for next season, would seem to be in rebounding, providing energy and blocking shots.

Given what the Hoosiers are returning and the other incoming players who will likely see time, it seems unlikely that Jurkin would be a regular part of the rotation. The minutes opening at his position would be Tom Pritchard’s, who played just 9.9 per game a season ago. Derek Elston and Hanner Perea are also going to be battling for a piece of those minutes, so it’s definitely an uphill battle for Jurkin to become a regular in the rotation.

Jon Robling writes: Is this the last chance for Mo Creek? And is he expected to practice on schedule?

Alex Bozich: From what Tom Crean told us a couple of weeks ago at Huber Farms for the IU Tailgate Tour, Maurice Creek is on a “long and tedious” road to recovery, but isn’t behind schedule. Creek seemed to be moving around pretty well towards the end of the season, but drills versus running up and down in the Big Ten are two totally different situations.

If Creek is able to return and play a part in what many are expecting to be a magical season in Bloomington, it would be one of the feel good stories in all of college basketball — deservedly so given what he’s been through since the fantastic start to his career.

@ElBonko writes: What are the odds that Dipo goes pro after his junior year? 75%?

Alex Bozich: It’s impossible to put a percentage on Victor Oladipo’s prospects for turning pro when he hasn’t played a minute of his junior season, but his play last season, especially late, put him on the NBA radar. He’s listed in the top 50 on a couple of draft boards I’ve seen for 2013, but a lot will be determined by his offseason improvement (most importantly improving his perimeter shot) and what Indiana is able to accomplish next season.

@Collin_OConnor writes: Other than Yogi, which freshman do you think will have the biggest role on next year’s team?

Alex Bozich: Jeremy Hollowell in terms of playing time, but I think Perea and Ron Patterson could also play big roles. Hollowell’s ability to score the ball in a variety of ways and rebound make him a candidate to play right away. His skillset for his size at 6-foot-8 is very diverse.

As for Perea and Patterson, both guys can carve out important roles because both guys are long and active on defense. Perea can block and affect shots around the rim. Patterson’s wingspan is incredible and he’s very good defending on the ball. Neither guy is going to put up big numbers offensively given that IU’s top five scorers are returning, but if the Hoosiers want to win the Big Ten, the defense must improve. Both players can help in that regard.

Tyler Trowbridge writes: What would be ITH’s preseason top 5?

Alex Bozich: 1. Indiana, 2. Louisville, 3. Kentucky, 4. UCLA, 5. Michigan. Subject to change many times before the season tips off, of course.

Filed to:

  • SCHoosier

    Re: Mo Creek..I think Crean’s recent assessment of Mo’s recovery make a medical hardship designation a real possibility. If Creek can not perform up to team standards (thru no fault of his own)..such a designation would allow him to keep his scholarship..complete his education..work out with the facilities and continue to get medical attention. It would also solve the scholarship # problem,..because a medical hardship case doesn’t count against the numbers. Everybody wants the best for Mo..but realism has to enter in here at some point. Anybody know where Creek is re: his degree and academic level?

  • I love the mailbag. Always a good read with well put answers and never an emotional or fan based answer.
    However let me ask you guys one thing about that top 5…. Am I the only one who thinks Kentucky just won’t be that great this year with their lack of depth and absolutely no point guard to run that guys offense. All his best years have had a dominant point guard…rose, evans, wall,Teague..

  • They’ve got Ryan Harrow, who was a five-star recruit and played a season at North Carolina State before transferring.

  • Brian

    IPFW plays in the Memorial Coliseum which holds 12k and has luxury suites. One way to build a recruiting base in Indiana is to travel to these smaller colleges in state and play them once on the road for 2-3 home games. Not only that but it can only help build the fan base in Fort Wayne.

  • Totally forgot about the transfer. Good point. In all the talk of recruiting classes and what not he got lost

  • I don’t think Indiana has to worry about building a recruiting base in Indiana since we already have it locked down.

  • I don’t think Indiana has to worry about building a recruiting base in Indiana since we already have it locked down.

  • ScoopGeoff

    I think that Cody will benefit the most from the freshmen, but for different reasons. Sure he’ll geta couple more easy buckets due to Yogi, but I think he was going to make some natural strides on offense anyway – season under his belt, added weight (and height rumored?), and certainly strength. Plus more confidence to face up and take 15-17 footers.

    So where I think the incoming class really helps is how it allows Cody to play on defense. There is far better on-ball defense this year with Yogi and Buss. There are more rim protectors in Jurkin and Perea. And there are even more offensive options now with Yogi, Perea, and especially Hollowell. This all takes pressure off CZ to be the rim protector, post defender, last line of defense, charge taker, etc, etc, etc… He had a lot of pressure on him defensively last year as the only true big, but he also had to be extremely careful of foul trouble because how important he was on offense. This year he should be free to play straight up and be slightly more physical knowing they can better survive stretches without him. He should be a far better defensive rebounder because he won’t be out of position as often trying to help. No reason that Cody isn’t a strong candidate for the Wooden next year.

  • Good points all around. Thanks for weighing in.

  • MDN82

    I live in the Fort Wayne area as well. As much as I would love this, I am not putting it on fan support. The fan support in this area is very strong. Recruiting is also doing pretty good.

  • Aric

    I’ve read differing comments on whether this medical hardship scholarship (i.e. scholly that doesn’t count towards the 13) is a possibility within NCAA rules. I think it is, but would love to have confirmation. Alex, can you clarify?

  • Aric

    I’ve read differing comments on whether this medical hardship scholarship (i.e. scholly that doesn’t count towards the 13) is a possibility within NCAA rules. I think it is, but would love to have confirmation. Alex, can you clarify?

  • Miamihoosier

    Even with Harrow, I would be shocked if they are still carrying a top ten ranking by the time the conference season rolls around. There are 6 reasons why: Jon Hood, Jarrod Polson, Twany Beckham, Sam Malone, Brian Long, and Kyle Wiljter. These are their returning players. Certainly not to the level of last year’s Terrance Jones, Doron Lamb, Darius Miller, and Eloy Vargas. Not to mention this year’s freshman class is not in the same league as last year’s. Noel could be great on D, but MKG saved their butts many times last year when the offense stalled. I don’t see anyone on this year’s team with that elite abiltity to create shots out of nothing. With Calipari (and Crean) style offenses a lot of times you end up needing that.

  • Evansville Hoosier

    The rebounding numbers always seemed like a cause for concern for us, but you make a good point. We were not the best on ball defensive team last year, so he had to move away from the rim a lot. I’d look for him to average 8 rebounds or more per game this year because of that.

  • millzy32

    Speaking of WEIGHING IN what is up about the rumors that Cody has put on some quality muscle in the offseason. Have you seen him lately and is he getting a ton stronger and maybe even taller as one suggested above?

  • millzy32

    I think you hit the nail on the head. Everyone talks about KY being one and done but they forget that they had several key pieces of last year’s team being returning players specifically Jones, Lamb, and Miller. This year’s returnees are squat for them as you mentioned.

  • Hardwood83

    If Mo is not fit to play at all he would (almost certainly) qualify for ‘Medical Disqualification’ and still get his scholarship without counting against the 13 total. ‘Medical Hardship’ allows for an extra season of eligibility in some cases due to injury (think Robbie Hummel) and does count in the total. Either could apply to Mo, I guess we’ll see in the next month or so.

  • Hardwood83

    If Mo is not fit to play at all he would (almost certainly) qualify for ‘Medical Disqualification’ and still get his scholarship without counting against the 13 total. ‘Medical Hardship’ allows for an extra season of eligibility in some cases due to injury (think Robbie Hummel) and does count in the total. Either could apply to Mo, I guess we’ll see in the next month or so.

  • Hardwood83

    I too would be all for a 3 for 1 home game trade- but nobody cares what we think and as Alex mentioned, ain’t gonna happen.

  • Hardwood83

    I agree- they are 2 or 3 steps below last season and even with Harrow this is the least talented team during Caliparis tenure…he must have exhausted their $$ coffers on last years ‘class’. Anyway they’ll still be top 20 due to ‘non-traditional’ scheduling and playing in the SEC, but I’ll be shocked if they advance beyond the sweet 16.

  • Iufan4life

    Uh……remember Gary Harris?

  • Kelin Blab

    Jerkins impact will be felt even more in practice as many of the players will learn to shoot over length including Cody . I thinks pj will get Pritchard type minutes and be a defensive presence similar to Patterson .

  • Arch_Puddington

    I think it’s a bit of a stretch to say we have the state locked down. Four of the five highest rated 2012 players from Indiana are going elsewhere (a figure that does include Smith-Rivera and McGary), as are all five of the 2013 players ranked in the Top 100. Not being at all negative or critical, just pointing out that even in the midst of the biggest wave of recruiting success we have had in a generation, competition for recruits is fierce.

  • Kelin Blab

    The mo creek info is concerning. Two tough injuries to bounce back from is not easy. I root for him as much as an player but still concerned

  • Kelin Blab

    I read that on twitter and I believe from cream that Cody has put on some muscle

  • Evansville Hoosier

    UK is still probably one of the most talented teams in the country, but there’s a few problems. Their only bench player with any credibility is Cauley. The others are transfers, or just not that talented. The PG, as you mentioned, is another. Yes, Harrow is skilled, but NCST fans all say he struggled in big moments, had an attitude problem, and didn’t initiate the offense well. When this is brought up to UK fans they all reply, “yeah, but he’s with us now, so he’ll be better.”

  • INexpat2001

    Hardwood83 makes a great point above in distinguishing between the two classifications of “Medical Hardship” vs. “Medical Disqualification”.

    Quick search turned up following article which helps provide some explanation.

    http://www.collegeathletictrainer.org/newsletter/getfile.php?fetch=1_2_1

    Also, for a skeptical view of the practice of manipulating medical hardships/disqualifications by Alabama football see the below link which refers to relevant NCAA bylaw 15.5.1.3

    http://oversigning.com/testing/index.php/2011/02/27/quick-thoughts-on-medical-hardship-scholarships/

  • INexpat2001

    Hardwood83 makes a great point above in distinguishing between the two classifications of “Medical Hardship” vs. “Medical Disqualification”.

    Quick search turned up following article which helps provide some explanation.

    http://www.collegeathletictrainer.org/newsletter/getfile.php?fetch=1_2_1

    Also, for a skeptical view of the practice of manipulating medical hardships/disqualifications by Alabama football see the below link which refers to relevant NCAA bylaw 15.5.1.3

    http://oversigning.com/testing/index.php/2011/02/27/quick-thoughts-on-medical-hardship-scholarships/

  • IU_Fan_99

    236 pounds per Mr. Crean on Twitter… and 2 inches of vert??

  • HoosierFanaticFromUSI

    I’m not seeing UK as a top 5 team next year either. It’s kind of hard to accurately pick out a top 5 after IU and UofL(I think both have a good case for #1). UCLA was not good last year, and even though they have that stellar incoming class it’s hard for me to put that much stock into it to give them a top 5 ranking just yet.

    To me, the top 5 goes like this:
    1. IU
    2. UofL
    3. NC State
    4. KU
    5. UM

  • sireric

    I think this is what is what you were getting at by mentioning them, but we didn’t make to hard a push for Mcgary or DSR

  • WisconHoosier

    A great reminder that Crean can never stop recruiting. Teams can be elite one year, and fall out of the top 20 the next. It can all turn on a single year’s class.

  • HoosierFanaticFromUSI

    I want to see IU play Indiana State again. I would also love to see Butler become an annual rivalry. Rotate home and home with the Crossroads Classic. Especially with their move to the A-10, a game against Butler will never be non-beneficial to the RPI. Hinkle is a great venue too.

  • HoosierFanaticFromUSI

    I want to see IU play Indiana State again. I would also love to see Butler become an annual rivalry. Rotate home and home with the Crossroads Classic. Especially with their move to the A-10, a game against Butler will never be non-beneficial to the RPI. Hinkle is a great venue too.

  • iufan4life10

    I feel similar about Jurkin’s minutes. I think we will see Jurkin coming into play while Watford is on the floor to give Zeller a break, Perea is probably going to do the same for Watford while Zeller remains on the court. I just can’t see both Zeller and Watford on the bench at the same time (in a competitive game).

  • iufan4life10

    I think that is somewhat true for 2012 and 2013 but there were a couple of circumstances that led to this. GRIII blew up late and climbed the rankings really quickly this past year. McGary was looked at but not recruited that hard. According to ESPN, IU has 3 of the top 5 and I would say the only miss for IU was Harris.

    In 2013, Hartman and Davis both committed early. Davis has had a good spring and recently went for 24 and 13, 13 and 13 in the all star game. I could see him moving up in the rankings quite a bit.

    2014 is the class that will start to show IU has locked down the state. Lyles and Blackmon Jr are 2 of the top 3 and IU still has a shot at Lyle and Bluiett.

  • Samb911

    I am trying to learn if Hanna Perea will play for IU next year. Has he been cleared by the NCAA to play for IU due to past Baylor issues.

  • SCHoosier

    I do think Jurkin is one step ahead of Bawa and Jobe..however..the kid missed most of his Jr. year with injuries and didn’t set the world on fire (though improved) his senior year against questionable competition. When recently asked about Jurkin and Perea this summer..Crean responded with something like “Hard workers with a lot to learn about b-ball”. Perea will get by on his atheticism until his talent catches up..Jurkin I bleieve is probably a project.

  • IUloaded

    NO way uk is top 3 next year,maybe to 30 but not num 3.

  • IUloaded

    NO way uk is top 3 next year,maybe to 30 but not num 3.

  • Ozzy634

    People also tend to forget the only reason most these players returned is becase they didn’t want to be drafted to the NBA then learn there is no season because of the lockout.

  • CreanFaithful

    How do you figure?

  • Aric

    Great info. Thanks for sharing.

  • calbert40

    Completely agree, Kelin. Last year, CZ probably was not challenged in practice very much. This year, with PJ and Perea, I think he will have to practice against guys who are taller (PJ) and more athletic (HP). That will only improve his game, imo.

    I’m excited to see the interior players compete for minutes. That said, I believe HP will be a rotational player this year, but PJ will be just outside of that core.

  • RckyMtnHoosier

    Way off topic…but I’m reading on CBS that coaches can now call/text recruits as much as they want? Are we do some reparations here?

  • RckyMtnHoosier

    Way off topic…but I’m reading on CBS that coaches can now call/text recruits as much as they want? Are we do some reparations here?

  • calbert40

    To be fair, it would be impossible to completely lock the state down, especially for 2012. The ’12 class is ridiculously talented. That talent level allowed CTC to recruit the players he thought fit the best in his system as opposed to just going after the best players the state had to offer.

    The fact that we have signed a player at every position shows that CTC went out and got who he thought fit. Sure, Harris is an amazingly talented player, but if given the choice between Hollowell and Harris, I’d rather have Hollowell. Harris may be the better player, but Hollowell fills a need in that class more. (Plus, I don’t think Harris ever had us as the top choice on his list like Hollowell did).

  • DarkSouth

    They’ll have four projected 1st round picks starting (three of whom are projected lottery picks) and the SEC isn’t especially strong. Don’t know their non-conference schedule but I don’t think they’ll play many teams more talented than themselves.

  • CreanFaithful

    Good points. But, my question is: Just because this year’s UK team might not stack up to last year’s UK team, does that mean they are not a top 10 team??? Last year’s UK team was leaps and bounds better than all competition (that hurt to put down in writing).

  • uh yeah…that is what I was going to say. well stated comments.